Perhaps it is only the truly creative person who labours long in isolation to perfect his or her craft. The rest of us like to have some acknowledgement and appreciation as we go along.
So it is with my photography. The Open University’s interactive ten week course encouraged its students to upload to a common pool of photos each week and to comment helpfully on each other’s efforts.
Most of us felt bereaved after the course had finished. Whatever could we aim at in the ensuing weeks? We had made helpful online contacts. Although we’d never actually met, we valued each other’s opinions and constructive criticism.
We continued to support each other via flickr groups. But there comes a point when either interest wanes, or you feel that you want to test your ability further. That is the point when you join a competitive camera club.
I’ve been a member of Shepshed and District Camera Club for 18 months. I’ve entered the competition league and submitted entries for all contests so far this year, being elected Assistant Competition Secretary somewhere along the way.
I have learnt a lot from judges’ adjudications, which has encouraged me simply to go on taking photos. Familiarity with equipment and technique shows in the quality of work that you produce.
I’ve also been placed with at least one entry in most competitions and am making a small dent in the club’s league.
My biggest success to date has been with a view of the skyline at Garendon Park, just east of Junction 23 on the M1. A landowner in the 19th century had a folly built on the skyline, which we locals nickname The Temple of Venus. Evergreen trees resembling cypresses were also planted along the ridge. In winter, in the right sunlight, the viewpoint is remarkably Tuscan. Which is why I strayed on to private property one very cold winter afternoon in mid-January, in the golden hour before the sun went down, to take a photo entitled Tuscan Landscape in Loughborough.
Not only has this photo taken first prize in a club contest, it has also been used several times by my local newspaper, the Shepshed/Loughborough Echo, to illustrate stories about the fate of Garendon Park, notably on the front page of the edition dated June 15th 2012. The editor rang me personally for permission to publish!
I was also very gratified when three of my prints were displayed at the Ashby-de-la-Zouch Jubilee photographic exhibition in June.
I have finally succeeded in assembling photos taken in Oman in January and March 2004 into an entry into the camera club’s slideshow challenge, which was very well received. The club will be introducing an annual slideshow contest from next year.
Please enjoy Journeys in Oman.